A union umbrella group says Albertans should not allow the economic slowdown to undermine the safety of workers.
During the commemoration of the International Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job, the Alberta Federation of Labour reminded employers and their workers that health and safety should not be sacrificed to benefit a company’s bottom line.
The AFL says Alberta’s outdated Occupational Health and Safety Laws, and Workers’ Compensation Board rules, exacerbate the problem by making it harder for workers to protect themselves against abusive employers.
AFL Secretary Treasurer Siobhan Vipond says she’s pleased to see the NDP government is following through on promises to modernize the laws.
In Alberta last year, there were 125 reported worker deaths as a result of on the job illness or injury.
The AFL estimates this statistic is significantly lower than the actual toll of workplace accidents, since many accidents are kept off the books.
Meanwhile two people were killed in workplace accident in Alberta on Wednesday.
A worker died on the job at a Nova Chemicals site in Joffre, southeast of Blackfalds Wednesday morning.
RCMP say the contractor was working on a crane when a piece of equipment swung and hit him. He died later in hospital.
Later in the day, a contractor worker for Pembina Pipeline was killed at a facility northeast of Edmonton.
In both incidents names have not been released, and Occupational Health and Safety is investigating.